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Italian rainbow cookies get a pink makeover with these layered almond, raspberry and white chocolate cookie bites from former staffer and Rach's "Cookie Man" Grant Melton.
"Inspired by Italian rainbow cookies, but with a few twists, these perfectly pink cookies are an ideal treat. Since the batter is made without leavener, it's important that all ingredients are room temperature when you go to mix them so it's easy for air to incorporate. It's also a good idea to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl often and keep the mixer speed at medium-low. Be sure to use white chocolate from a bar, rather than chips, as it's less likely to seize while it's being melted."
- 2 cups flour
- ¾ cup finely ground almonds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- One 7-ounce tube almond paste
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 to 4 drops pink food coloring
- 2 to 4 drops red food coloring
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, ground almonds and salt. Measure buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup, add the almond extract, and mix with a fork.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter on medium speed. With the mixer running, gradually add the almond paste a little bit at a time until incorporated and the almond paste is no longer visible. Gradually add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
With the mixer running, add ⅓ of the dry mixture. Once incorporated, slowly stream in half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat with another ⅓ of the dry mixture, the rest of the buttermilk mixture, and then the remaining ⅓ dry mixture.
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Remove ⅓ of the batter (about 1½ cups) to a small mixing bowl. Add a few drops of pink food coloring and mix with a rubber spatula to color the batter evenly. Remove another third to a separate small bowl, add a few drops of red food coloring, and mix well.
Place each third of dough into its own nonstick or greased and parchment-lined 9-by-13-inch jelly roll pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter into a thin even layer covering the bottom of the pan. Place all three pans into the oven and bake until the sides are lightly golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes.
Once cool, invert the white layer of cake onto a large cutting board. Spread ½ cup raspberry jam on top, covering it completely. Top with the pink layer of cake. Spread with an even layer of the remaining ½ cup jam and then top with the red cake layer. Cover with plastic wrap, place a pan on top and then weigh it down with a few cans or a cast-iron skillet. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To finish the cookies, place the white chocolate and heavy cream in a small glass bowl. Set the bowl over a small pot with gently boiling water, then stir until melted and smooth. Remove the sheet of cookies from the refrigerator and remove the weights and plastic wrap. Invert the cake so the white layer is on top. Pour the white chocolate mixture on top and spread from corner to corner. Using a fork, drag the tines down the chocolate to create a wavy pattern.
Let sit until the chocolate hardens, about 1 hour. Once firm, cut the cookies into bite-sized pieces.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze.